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    Warsaw Mummy Project – Human Remains Exhibition in the Silesian Museum

    The archaeological exhibition “The Mummy of the Mysterious Lady. Studies and Perspectives.” will be held on November 3 at 06:00 p.m. in the Silesian Museum. It presents the results of radiological studies of an ancient Egyptian mummy, identified recently with the priest Hor-Djehuti. Since 2015, the work has been carried out by a team of Polish scientists as part of the Warsaw Mummy Project in cooperation with the National Museum in Warsaw.

    In the 19th century, researchers were convinced that inside a coffin brought from Egypt there was a “mummy of a woman”.
    In the 1820s, and once again a hundred years later, the hieroglyphs on the sarcophagus were read, which clearly indicated its owner – priest Hor-Dzhuti, who lived in the second half of the 19th century. 1st century BC – 1st half 1st century AD. With this in mind, it was concluded that the man’s mummy was buried inside.
    Radiological examinations carried out in the 1990s, due to the imperfection of the then imaging technology, also did not bring any determinations as to the sex of the deceased.
    It was only during the works as part of the Warsaw Mummy Project that it was established that the sarcophagus was clearly the remains of a woman. 

    The Mummy of the Mysterious Lady is at the archaeological exhibition. Studies and perspectives presents the possibilities of using some contemporary techniques for non-invasive research of archaeological objects. This is especially important in the case of Egyptian mummies, as it does not affect their structure. Without unrolling the bandages or cutting the soft tissue, it is possible to obtain a lot of information in a non-destructive way, and even perform a virtual autopsy. It is possible, among others, to determine the characteristics of sexual dimorphism and the age of a person at the time of death, to recognize certain diseases and past injuries, to measure bones and identify foreign bodies (e.g. ornaments), and even to examine the mummification method, the state of preservation of tissues and bandages. The confrontation of the effects of current methods with the recently used practices of developing mummies from bandages, captured in archival photos, clearly show the breakthrough that has taken place in recent years in this type of research.

    The exhibition presents the results of radiological examinations of an ancient Egyptian mummy, identified until recently with the priest Hor-Djehuti. Since 2015, the work has been carried out by a team of Polish scientists as part of the Warsaw Mummy Project in cooperation with the National Museum in Warsaw. The coffin and the carton with the mummy were brought to Warsaw and donated to the Royal University of Warsaw by Jan Wężyk-Rudzki in 1826 or at the beginning of 1827. In 1918, the building was deposited with the National Museum in Warsaw, where it is still located today. In the 19th century, researchers were convinced that inside a coffin brought from Egypt there was a “mummy of a woman”. In the 1820s, and once again one hundred years later, the hieroglyphs on the sarcophagus were read, which clearly indicated its owner – priest Hor-Dzhuti, who lived in the second half of the 19th century. 1st century BC – 1st half 1st century AD With this in mind, it was concluded that the man’s mummy was buried inside. Radiological examinations carried out in the 90s of the twentieth century, due to the imperfection of the then imaging technology, also did not bring any determinations as to the sex of the deceased. It was only during the work as part of the Warsaw Mummy Project that it was established that the sarcophagus clearly contained the remains of a woman. Scientists called them the Mummy of the Mysterious Lady. The performed tomographic and X-ray examinations showed that the body, wrapped in bandages, is too delicate for a man. In order to fully find out about the sex, measurements were made of, among others, the heads of the femurs, the small diameters of which clearly indicated the female sex, which was also confirmed by the analysis of the structure of the pelvis and skull. Additional evidence was also visible on the scans mummified breasts and female sexual organs. Closer research showed that the woman probably died of cancer between the ages of 20 and 30. The Mysterious Lady was 158-159 cm tall. The tomographic data revealed that the woman was subjected to the most expensive and complicated mummification process, and her teeth were in a very good condition, which proves her high social status and access to better-quality food. It is not known, however, who she was, and the place of her original burial is not known, although the existing sources indicate that the mummy was recovered from the royal tombs in Thebes. However, this may be false information. The time when the Mysterious Lady lived is not precisely determined either. The method of mummification performed with the use of the highest standards of embalming technique points to the times of the XXI and XXII dynasty (1st thousand BC). 

     

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